“Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you in the future. When your children ask you, “What do these stones mean?”, tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Joshua 4:5-7, NIV
When God does something special it needs to be recorded and remembered. For the testimony of what God has done in the past is a reminder to the generations yet to come of the reality of who God is and of His faithfulness to one generation after another. In recent weeks I have been re-reading the book “Charles E. Cowman – Missionary Warrior”. It is the extraordinary story of how one young man determined to trust God – and God alone – for his provision and supply when establishing missions in Japan in the very earliest years of the last century.
The book is written by his wife, Lettie Cowman, who faithfully recorded miracle after miracle that God did in response to their daily obedience to the vision they had been given. Every chapter is filled with ‘piles of memorial stones’ as she not only shares personal testimony to God’s provision but expresses herself with amazing gems of Christian truth that could only have been learned on the sharp end of trust and obedience to God.
As a result of all their experiences of God’s faithfulness, Mrs Cowman wrote “Streams in the Desert”, which for nearly a hundred years now has been one of the most loved, valued and blessed books of daily devotional readings. What she wrote was not just the clever words of a good writer, but the living expression of what had been burnt into her heart.
I will always be grateful for my own parents who regularly told us with enthusiasm and excitement of the things that God had done in their lives. As I grew up I had no reason to doubt the reality of who God is, because I was soaked in the living testimony of day to day Christian reality. Mum and Dad were regularly adding ‘stones’ to the pile of memories that would stand me in good stead throughout my life – and even today freshly impact and challenge my own faith and walk with the Lord.
So may I encourage you to write down the things that God has done in your life and regularly look at this ‘pile of precious stones’, reminding yourself of the goodness of God and His faithfulness – and don’t hesitate to tell the next generation what God has done.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for all the evidences of your faithfulness there have been in my life. Help me to take time to remember what You have done and let these things be an encouragement and a challenge to keep being faithful to You for the rest of my days. In Jesus’s Name, Amen.